Exhibition Advice

When organising an exhibition, you need to look at numerous aspects to ensure that it all runs smoothly. The information that the target audience, may want to know should be presented clearly. At the same time, certain practices have to be avoided. Below you will find a list of some key Do's and Don'ts to remember when planning your exhibition, to make it is a huge success.

Do: Research a show carefully before you decide to exhibit. Check out the show's history - Does it attract a large number of your target audience? Is it easy for the attendee to find and reach by car or public transport?
For more information about all exhibitions visit www.exhibitions.co.uk.

Don't: Be afraid to ask questions! Show organisers have all the information you would benefit from, for example, all exhibitor requirements, attendee demographics etc.

Do: Start your planning early. Regular exhibitors start planning their appearances 6-12 months in advance. Read our article on Planning Your Stand (1522kb).

Don't: Pass the chance to visit other industry events before you exhibit for the first time. Make a note of what exhibits were effective and those that turned you off.

Do: Make a list of goals and objectives for the show. This list should be specific and achievable. For example, X amount of leads/sales or spreading the word about a new product or service. Read our article Setting Your Objectives (418kb).

Don't: Get sidetracked by what everyone else is doing - or by what people tell you you 'have' to do. Call 0800 834 298 for our expert advice.

Do: Be open and creative to new ways of presenting your products or services. You need to be unique and engaging for your display to be memorable for the hundreds of show attendees. Read our article How not to Exhibit (746kb).

Don't: Be afraid to be enthusiastic about your services. If you are genuinely jazzed up about what you do, attendees will sense that. Enthusiasm is contagious - and more importantly, it sells!

Do: Learn the 80/20 rule - The best exhibitors are those who listen more than talk. Focus on what the attendee wants!

Don't: Barrage visitors with facts, figures and sales spiel.

Do: Remember first impressions are everything! Be professional, well-dressed and polite at all times.

Don't: Eat, drink or chat on your mobile phone on the show floor. Leave your stand for a refreshment or a break.

Do: Be realistic. Exhibitions are long events. Make sure you recruit the right amount of staff to keep your stand and motivation fresh. Read our article Choosing your Stand Staff (420kb).

Don't: Forget to train your staff. Explain the objectives, types of questions to be asked, what the marketing message is etc. Read our article Staff Briefing and Training (418kb).

Do: Ask qualifying questions. You want to know who you are talking to, who they work for, and in what capacity. This will help you determine if the attendee is a prospective customer or not.

Don't: Be afraid to encourage people to move along if they are not interested in your services.

Do: Take notes. Take time before the show to create a lead form, in which you will record important information for post show follow-up. Read our document >Dummy Lead Form (27kb).

Don't: Depend on your memory - a few words scribbled on the back of the business card will not be enough after the show is over and you have met with lots of people.

Do: Reach out to the media. Have a press pack available in the media/press room. Also, be open to interviews, especially if you have something new or special to shout about. Read our article Maximise the press (418kb).

Don't: Forget to read the exhibitor's manual. Inside, you will find important information relating to the show, for example, deadlines for ordering services. Most manuals can be downloaded from the show's website.

Do: Use giveaway items that enhance your expert identity. You want items that your attendees use regularly and reinforce their impression of you as an expert.

Don't: Get caught up in trendy giveaways pushed by promotional sales people. You want to stand out from the crowd, not merge with it!

Do: Follow Up! This is the most important part of your exhibition. Follow up all leads with a letter and pursue more promising leads. Read our article Plan Your follow Up (418kb).

Don't: Hesitate to include hands-on, interactive demonstrations into your exhibit whenever possible. If you inject fun into your exhibit, you will have more attendees.